In Brief

John Cantlie: video of British hostage released by Islamic State

Video 'marks a new departure' for IS filmmakers as hostage delivers 'composed propaganda message'

John Cantlie

Islamic State has released a new video, this time featuring a British photojournalist delivering a message to the Western public.

Cantlie delivers his speech to the cameras wearing an orange jumpsuit and appears calm and composed throughout, telling his audience that Islamic State has been "misrepresented by the Western media".

"Over the next few programmes, I am going to show you the truth as the Western media tries to drag the public back to the abyss of another war with the Islamic State," he says.

Commentators have called the video bizarre and unusual. The BBC's Frank Gardner described it as "very much a propaganda video" and a "kind of parody of a chat show"

This latest video "marks a new departure for Isis film-makers", writes the Guardian's Ian Cobain.

Previous videos released by Islamic State showed the "ritualistic" murder of three western hostages, the American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and British aid worker David Haines and were all filmed outside. This one breaks that pattern and is filmed in a well-lit room with at least two different cameras and does not feature any of the jihadists. "His performance appears to be well-rehearsed," says Cobain.

The 41-year old from West Sussex was working as a freelance journalist for the British press when he was captured by militants just before crossing the Syrian border into Turkey in 2012. It is believed that he was with Foley, who was executed by Islamic State last month.

Before the release of this video, no mention of Cantlie's plight was made public by the media at the request of the Home Office because of fears it would "increase the threat to his life".

This is not the first time Cantlie has been held hostage in the Middle East. Two years ago he was lucky to escape Syria alive after being captured by Islamic militants, according to the BBC.

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